April 2019

Hull man groomed a school girl by buying her cigarettes and alcohol before sexually abusing her

A west Hull man who groomed a school girl by buying her cigarettes and alcohol before sexually abusing her has been jailed.

Barnaby Cooper, of Steeton Avenue, west Hull, pleaded guilty to nine sexual offences with the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He groomed her over a period of time by buying her cigarettes and alcohol and telling her that he “loved her like he loved his girlfriend”.

Cooper, 40, appeared at Hull Crown Court on Monday, April 4, where he pleaded guilty to all nine counts. The offences were:

  • Seven counts of sexual activity with a child

    One count of causing a child to watch a sexual act

    One count of causing a child to engage in sexual activity

Prosecuting, Charlotte Baines, told the court that Cooper became “good friends” with the victim before sexually abusing her after telling her his dad was dying.

Cooper confessed to the victim he had sexual fantasies and dreams about her. After the messages were discovered by the victim’s mum, contact stopped between Cooper and the teenage girl.

But it was not long before Cooper was speaking to her again, even taking her out to a Hull nightclub where he bought her vodkas. Afterwards, Cooper took the victim to his home.

“The victim described that she was a bit drunk,” said Ms Baines. “The defendant laid next to her and kissed her and touched her.

“She described how she went along with it but didn’t know why she let this happen. Cooper messaged the victim the next morning saying he wished he had done more”.

On another occasion, the victim messaged Cooper asking if he could bring her cigarettes and the pair ended up in a secluded area together, where he forced the young girl to perform a sex act on him.

Watch: Everything you need to know about the Sec Offenders Register

Cooper also had unprotected sex with his victim in the back of his car on two occasions.

After a while, Cooper told the victim that they could not see each other because of her age.

Ms Baines said: “The defendant messaged that his latest girlfriend didn’t want to have an open relationship anymore. The defendant still sent messages saying he missed her and wanted to meet her.”

The abuse was brought to light after Cooper’s girlfriend at the time found pictures and videos of the victim on his laptop.

Cooper was arrested and interviewed by police where he admitted he was attracted to the victim despite her age.

Jailing Cooper for eight years, Recorder Bryan Cox said: “There is clear evidence that you steer about a process of grooming your victim in a variety of ways that included buying cigarettes.

“You spoke to her about adult matters, personal matters, and you deliberately obtained her trust. There were opportunities for you to desist but you didn’t and your impropriety continued over a long period.”